Wednesday 30 November 2011
Monday 28 November 2011
Thursday 24 November 2011
Sunday 20 November 2011
I love it when you form an image of an artist in your head based upon their album art, only for you preconceptions to be proved wrong once you take the time to listen to it. Take the debut album of Scottish singer/songwriter Martin John Henry, formerly of De Rosa. The artwork of the album, "The Other Half Of Everything", seems to give the impression of an album of pastoral, King Creosote-eque.
Friday 18 November 2011
This isn't really a new song, but its eventual UK release is an event that I've waited three long years for.
I first heard Irish electro-rockers Codes when they supported Maps in the Spring & Airbrake back in 2008. Intrigued by their style, I picked up a copy of "This is Goodbye", and fell in love with it immediately, becoming my summer song that year.
The next year, they signed to Sony Ireland and re-recorded the song for inclusion on their debut album "Trees Dream in Algebra". Whilst I still prefered the original version (being the quasi-hipster that I am), the song retained everything that made it special in the first place, with it's 'grey whilstle test approved' hook and the empassioned vocal delivery from Daragh Anderson.
I saw Codes for the second time in 2010, when they played in the Limelight (supported by The Delays, strangely enough). With a stadium support slot with Keane between the two concerts, it was obvious that the band's showmanship had improved dramatically, with the energy of the room increasing tenfold when the group stormed their way through their set. Even more excitingly, I got the opportunity to interview Darragh for Queen's Radio, where we talked about, amongst other things, what the name of their album, "Trees Dream in Algebra", really means.
Fast forward to 2011, and Codes are finally gearing up to release their debut album in the UK. In anticipation of its release, they have made a cracking new video for "This is Goodbye", and have made the track available as a free download for a limited time. With a promotional push and a UK wide tour underway, it is my hope that the track finally gets the attention that it truly deserves.
This is Goodbye by Codes
With their song "One Day", Australian band Regurgitator have quite possibly recorded the most upbeat song about death ever. The polished pop-rock production offers an interesting juxstaposition with the lyrics, which talk about "feeding the tree" and being "dragged under the ground" without fear or trepidation.
"One Day" is taken from Regurgitator's 7th album "SuperHappyFunTimeFriends", and is available to download for free.
One Day by Regurgitator
Thursday 17 November 2011
Wednesday 16 November 2011
Photograph of The Spyro is © Emmi Kahkonen
Tuesday 15 November 2011
Did somebody say chamber-disco?
*No, I have not just gone onto Wikipedia and found the name of the first classical composer that came up in order to hide my ignorance of the genre. That would just be silly.
Thursday 10 November 2011
Tuesday 8 November 2011
The song isn't perfect - the recording sounds a little rough around the edges and the mixing of the backing vocals seems a little off, but as an introduction to the crazy, sugar-coated indie-pop world of TeamABC, it a charming little ditty.
"Tornado" is available now as a free download.
Of all the countries that I would expect to find Americana-indebted rock, then Sweden would probably be the last place I'd think of.* But then again, it's not often you come across an artist like Magnus Hansson, aka Maybe Canada.
"Hometown", which is available as a free download, is a gorgeous piece of well produced folksy-rock, with powerful world-weary vocals that seem to have been shaped by years on the road.
*Okay, perhaps Eritrea or the Central Africal Republic, although that's largely because I didn't realise they were countries until yesterday
Monday 7 November 2011
As I've noted on numerous occasions, I am a massive fan of Britpop inspired artists, which is probably why I have such a soft spot for Belfast based quartet Echo Raptors.
Their track "Plastic People", which is available as a free download, is an expansive, psychedelic production, reminiscent of The Verve or Kula Shaker at their most introverted.
"Neuzeit" by I Heart Sharks is taken from their album "Summer", which is out now on AdP Records.
Sunday 6 November 2011
After the odd electric noodling of the first 50 seconds, the song settles into an expansive, acoustic driven track, which despite lyrics like 'I'm going to shoot them down with my gun,' is a surprisingly tender track, sounding not too dissimilar to the heartfelt rock of The Airbourne Toxic Event.
"White Kids" by Sound and the Urgency features on the band's self-titled debut album, and is available to download for free.
Date – 5th November 2011
This week has been a hectic one for fans of music in Belfast, with seven days of musical events being held all across the city in preparation for Sunday’s MTV EMA Awards from Belfast. Perhaps my most anticipated event of the week has been the Belfast Calling event at the Limelight Complex. Twenty-eight artists play over eight stages in an acoustic driven style, with the proceeds from the ticket sales going towards the Alzheimers Society.
Some of the highlights of the evening were:
Katie Richardson and her ever-changing backing band (there were six on stage with her this evening) put on a great early performance, with her sultry, jazzy style helping to kick-start the evening’s proceedings.
It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally getting the chance to see the fantastic Peter McCauley, aka Rams’ Pocket Radio, live. The stripped down set, featuring just Peter at the keyboard (which sort of defeats the point of an acoustic performance, if I was being pedantic), is a fantastic one indeed, opening with “Dieter Rams Has Got the Pocket Radios”, followed by the glorious “Dogs Run In Packs”, and several more heartfelt piano-pop numbers. This is music for pulling the heartstrings, then nursing them gently back into place.
Playing acoustically without his backing band (The Great Bunch of Lads), John D’Arcy, fitted out in a bespoke red suit, plays through his high energy, pop-rock songs, including “Teenage Meltdown” and “Pop Tart”. Despite his songs usually being more band driven, they sound incredibly fresh when played with just guitar and vocals, with the setting showing off the guitar talents of D’Arcy that I had previously underestimated.
Of all the bands playing this evening, none get nearer to the spirit of Belfast’s greatest musical export, Van Morrison, than sextet The Vals. Their soul tinged classic rock goes down well in the setting of Katy Daly’s bar, and it’s great to hear the trombone used it rock music outside of ska-punk. The highlight of the set was the mandolin-led closer “Look to the One."
Quite how the organizers of the gig managed to book the lead singer of Starsailor to do an acoustic set is somewhat of a mystery, but the presence of James Walsh was very much felt by the crowd at Spring & Airbrake. Although he did play several of his new solo songs, as well as covers of “Raspberry Beret” and “Hungry Heart”, the set was dominated by stripped back versions of Starsailor songs, with classics such as “Poor Misguided Fool”, “Silence Is Easy” and “Four To the Foor” acting as a reminder that behind the expansive production, there are some fantastic songs in their back catalogue.
Other artists playing at the event included Duke Special, Yes Cadets, Levity Breaks, Paul Shevlin, Mojo Fury, Sweet Savage & A Plastic Rose.
Friday 4 November 2011
The group have had a meteoric rise, having only formed in the past 12 months, with a support slot for The Vaccines being one of their first gigs. "Great Unknown" is an upbeat anthemic song that somehow bridges the gap between indie and neo-soul, with a chorus that is just waiting to be chanted by thousands of drunken revellers at every festival in 2012.
"Great Unknown" will be released on 1st January on Hideout Recordings.
1. The music of Calaca Strides is made by one person, who is based in the north west of England.
2. He was formerly played keyboards in an electro band amongst other projects, which makes his forray into pastoral folk rather intriguing.
3. He takes inspiration from his moniker from the Mexican Day of the Dead and the illustrations of José Guadalupe Posada.
4. The lead track from the E.P, "Graves", sounds as if someone has attacked a Bon Iver master tape with a mix of hydrochloric acid and whiskey, with the finished product sounding jagged, yet somewhat endearing.
Wednesday 2 November 2011
"Unmake the Oddity" is taken from Stereo Soul Future's third album "Ghost in the Night", which is available to buy now.